For decades, Steve Schapiro’s iconic photographs have been witty visual documents of American cultural and social movements. He’s captured significant moments like Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march to Selma as well as intimate portraits of Hollywood celebrities such as Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.
The hippie movement was very much of its time. With the aftershocks of the Second World War still reverberating loudly, the counter-culture movement rejected the conventions of the pre-war Western world, turning its back on the notions of capitalism and conformity. The hippies took the ideas of rebellion that incubated in ’50s rock’n’roll and expanded on them with mind-expanding drugs, mellowing from anti-establishment aggression to a position of peace and love, seeking greater spirituality and a more natural, self-sufficient lifestyle.
Take a trip through time to 2015, and things seem to have come full circle!
While touring hippie communities throughout the United States, Schapiro was accompanied by his son, Theophilus Donoghue, an active participant of such movements since the age of 23. “My son is very spiritual. He sort of guided me through it. He took a few pictures too, but basically it was his idea, and we had a great time doing it together,” Schapiro says.
Bliss: Transformational Festivals & the Neo Hippie by Steve Schapiro is published by powerHouse Books.